Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares, 28, was arrested on September 16, 2021, for the September 7, 2012, rape and murder of 19-year-old Faith Hedgepeth in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Hedgepeth was found dead in her apartment near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a student. Her roommate, Karena Rosario, discovered her body when she returned home at about 11 in the morning. She phoned 911, telling the operator that there was “blood everywhere.” Hedgepeth had been sexually assaulted and beaten to death in her bedroom. She was partially clothed. The killer wrote a note on a wrapper from a nearby restaurant that stated, “I’m not stupid bitch, jealous.” This led an FBI profile to surmise that the killer may have known Hedgepeth.
A DNA profile of the suspect was obtained from semen collected at the crime scene and a sexual assault kit, as well as the pen used to write the note. A palmprint and two fingerprints were also found on an empty rum bottle that police suspect was used to beat Hedgepeth to death. A forensic phenotype of the suspect was performed in 2016 by Parabon Nanolabs, which produced a facial reconstruction of the suspect, and determined that he was likely of Latino and/or Indigenous ancestry.
In January of 2022, the seal on the search warrants used to obtain the suspect’s DNA was not renewed. The warrants had sought body samples from the suspect for DNA testing, as well as fingerprints and palm prints. It was then made public that police had used FGG to identity Salguero-Olivares as a suspect. There is no information at this time as to who conducted the FGG investigation. The initial confirmation was made through a sample taken surreptitiously from Salguero-Olivares at a traffic stop where he was found intoxicated with open liquor in his vehicle.
Salguero-Olivares, who moved to North Carolina from Guatemala, is facing charges of first-degree murder in Durham County Superior Court.
Hedgepeth, a member of the Halawi Saponi tribe of North Carolina, was to have been the first person in her family to graduate from university. She had hoped to become a pediatrician.
Police have reported that over the years in which the investigation was active, they tested the DNA of 229 males who were suspects in the case, all of whom were eliminated.
ABC News. “Timeline: What Happened the Night Faith Hedgepeth Was Killed.” ABC News 11, September 16, 2021. Accessed January 25, 2022. https://abc11.com/faith-hedgepeth-murder-timeline-2012-miguel-olivares-what-happened-to/11025498/.
Bridges, Virginia. “Warrants Outline Evidence Linking Man to 2012 Killing of UNC Student Faith Hedgepeth.” Charlotte Observer, January 21, 2022. Accessed January 25, 2022. https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article257547083.html.
Perchick, Michael. “Family, Tribal Members React to Arrest in Faith Hedgepeth Murder Investigation.” ABC News 11, September 17, 2021. Accessed January 25, 2022. https://abc11.com/faith-hedgepeth-unc-hawani-saponi-tribe-indigenous-women/11027779/.
Rodríguez, Gloria. “Faith Hedgepeth’s Dad Watches as Accused Killer Appears in Court.” ABC News 11, September 17, 2021. Accessed January 25, 2022. https://abc11.com/faith-hedgepeth-miguel-update-salguero-olivares-chapel-hill-police/11026849/.